By this time in 2016, everyone is well aware that we’re living in a digital age. The online sphere rules all – especially in the world of business. But unfortunately, many businesses still aren’t making the most of the digital boom. Recent research has suggested that a staggering number of companies are still behind when it comes to taking advantage of the digital world. So how can you tell if you’re one of these businesses? And what can you do to change it?
Let’s take a look at four key questions you can ask to determine when – and how – you need to upgrade your business’ digital approach.
- How do I know if it’s time to change my business’ digital strategy?
It’s time to take a good, long look at your business. First of all, ask yourself the following:
- Do you have a website?
- If so, how effective has the website been in attracting potential customers?
- If not, why not?
- Do you have a presence on social media?
- If so, has it been successful in engaging and sustaining people’s interest?
- If not, why not?
- Are you using the latest digital components such as accounting software, online payments etc.?
- If so, can you improve or upgrade them in any way?
- If not, why not?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions, it’s definitely time to upgrade your digital strategy. Asking yourself why you haven’t already implemented these digital measures will probably result in answers like ‘not enough time’, ‘not enough money’ and so on – but you must realise that, in this day and age, there’s simply no excuse!
Even if you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, meaning you do have a website, social media presence etc., you must take time to evaluate how successfully you’ve been using these measures. It’s not enough simply to have an online presence – you also need to use it to its utmost potential.
Which brings us to our next question…
- What does it mean to have an online presence?
As a modern-day business, having an online presence doesn’t just mean creating a website and a few social media platforms, then forgetting about them. A successful online presence involves ensuring that your digital platforms are active and constantly updated.
This means updating your website regularly, usually through a blog with a constant stream of posts; it also means posting regularly on social media, attracting engagement from potential customers and clients.
Take a look at your website and social media channels (if you do already have them). How regularly are they updated? How many likes, comments, followers and click-throughs do you have on social media? How many visitors is your website attracting? If you’re not happy with the results, it’s time to make a change in your digital strategy.
- What kinds of digital components can my business use?
Depending on what type of business you have, there are myriad ways you can incorporate a digital strategy into your business plan. Here are some of the most common components every business can utilise in their digital presence:
- Website: This is absolutely vital for any business. You want customers to be able to find you online.
- Blog: Another key element of any digital business plan. Creating a regular stream of posts that are interesting and useful for your customers is a great marketing strategy.
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, even Snapchat – the list of social media channels is ever-growing, and you’re sure to find a space for your business in at least one.
- E-commerce: People love to buy online, so ensure your products and services are available through a sound e-commerce platform.
- Can a good digital strategy save my business money?
The short answer to this question is: yes. While it may take some time to get started online (and a little money, depending on the services you may need to engage to get set up), you’ll see incredible benefits in the long run when you’re conducting business online and providing first-rate service for your customers.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to upgrade your digital strategy and reap the benefits!